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Buddy as a child
At 15 months old he took out all the screws on his sisters baby bed with her in it. When his mother picked up his sister it collapsed. Messed with the kitchen stove to where his mother had to call the gas man to come out and adjust it. He also took apart all his Christmas toys.
He drank gasoline at 18 months
At 3 he saw his first tractor and combine in the shed. "Mama is't it pretty, isn't it pretty mama" rubbing the lights.
At 5 years rode his bicycle perfect the first time.
At 6 years,"Mama when I go to school I want to be called Karl cause when I grow up and they name a street after me I think Karl will sound better than Buddy"
He was in the Boy Scouts in 1946-49.
Buddy went to Woodrow Wilson High School, in Dallas, TX. He was in ROTC.
He later attended North Texas State College in Denton Texas.
1951 | Dallas, Texas
Buddy got his first car at the age of 15. It was a 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan with 4" Crank and Evans 2-2.
Early History of Drag Racing in Texas
1951 | Caddo Mills, TX
Below is part of an article about Drag Racing from the Texas Timing Association website. This is used with permission from Ed Miller. To read more of the article or to get info on the Texas Timing Association, go to: http://texastiming.com/about.htm
"Go back for a moment to the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. WWII was over, and thousands of young veterans, back from the excitement of being overseas and in combat, found themselves bored by civilian life. They sought their kicks in things like stunt flying, riding stripped-down motorcycles, and tearing around the countryside in old cars with souped up engines. Street racing by these young daredevils, called ‘dragging,’ was considered to be one of the great social problems of the age. Before gaining grudging acceptance in subsequent decades, hot rodders in that day were usually branded as troublesome hoodlums.
The first effort to make drag racing respectable was a move to confine all the racing to off-street tracks. The original sanctioning body, the National Hot Rod Association, established legitimate class-based drag racing in Southern California. When the NHRA made the first big move away from its west coast base, heading out across the US to establish drag racing as a safe and respectable sport nation-wide, their first stop was at a legendary spot in North Texas.
Texas Drag Racing Begins
On some clear, sunny weekends beneath the brilliant Texas sun, every hot rodder and car nut in the Southwestern United States had began to gather and race the first Sunday of each month at an abandoned Army Air Force auxiliary landing field east of Dallas, near the tiny rural town of Caddo Mills. The deserted airport way out in the country had runways more than a mile long, made of wide, solid concrete, with traction like no one had ever seen before. The NHRA Safety Safari pulled in there one spring weekend in 1954, and established the Caddo Mills drag strip as only the second sanctioned track in the country outside of California.
Most of the contestants at those first Caddo races drove their cars there, and raced on the same tires that were spun and smoked on that concrete track by the same engine and drive train that took them back and forth to school or work every day of the week. The track was operated by the North Texas Timing Association, and by the members of all the car clubs that were members of NTTA. Caddo was run by and for hot rodders.
In the decade of the 1950s, Caddo was recognized as being not only one of the first drag strips in the country outside of California, it was by far the most important track in this whole part of America. This legendary strip hosted still-talked about runs by Don Garlits and his “Swamp Rat”, Bobby Langley's renowned series of "Scorpion" dragsters, the twin-engine terrors of both Eddie Hill and Jack Moss, Nationals-winning altereds like Buddy Anderson’s "Widdle White Wabbit" Fiat and Don Breithaupt's '32 Ford "DCB" coupe, Arizona's "Speed Sport Special" modified roadster, Carl Stones’ “Rolling Stone” roadster, August "Hands" Hartkoff, and many others.
It was home many times to the Texas State Championships, presented annually by the NTTA up into the 1960’s. Caddo existed for many years as the greatest place in the Southwestern United States to race, but unfortunately, was never operated as a carefully managed business. Times changed, other tracks opened, and eventually both Caddo and the NTTA passed on.
Chaparral Roadster Club of Dallas
1951 | Caddo Mills
Many remembrances on the internet state that The Chaparral Roadster Club of Dallas got together with the City Officials and local police the set up the first organized drag racing on the old air strip near Caddo Mills. On the 19th of August 1951 the first race began with 56 cars, each paying a fee of one dollar.
Buddy joined the Chaparral's when he was 17 in 1953.
Buddy's First Race Car at age 17
1953 | Dallas, TX
Buddy's first race car was a 1946 Ford with a 276 C.I. Engine by Buddy. (That is what is on the photo, so I assume that means he built the engine.) He joined the Chaparrals Roadster Club this same year and won his first trophy in April at the Chaparral Drag Race in Grand Prairie, TX.
1954 | Dallas, TX
He began building the "Mud Hen". He was 18. He won a trophy at the Mansfield, LA. Drag Strip.
Class Winner AHRA Nationals
1956 | Kansas City, Mo
He won C/Altered at the AHRA National Championship in 1956 at Kansas City, Mo.
In Nov. of 56 issue of Hot Rod he is listed as one of the New National Record Holders.
Widdle White Wabbit's Maiden Run
1957 | Great Bend, Kansas
The fiat ran it's first run in 1957 as the Widdle White Wabbit.
Anderson Posts Best Time at Caddo Mills
21 Oct 1957 | Caddo Mills, TX
"Buddy Anderson posted the top
time among 200 Drivers Sunday
in drag races at Caddo Mills, "
Dallasite Wins At Caddo Mills
4 May 1959 | Caddo Mills, Texas
"Buddy Anderson of Dallas ro11ing over the Caddo Mill course
in 110.15 miles per hour, won little eliminator in the May racing
program of the North Texas Timing Association.
Anderson,driving a V-8 powered Fiat B/altered coupe, beat
out Carl Stone of Dallas in a tight race. Top eliminator was
Bruce Norman of Fort Worth in a fuel-burning A/dragster pow-
ered by a V.8 Olds supercharged engine at 132.5 mph.
Top Eliminator-Bruce Norman, Fort Worth 132. 15,
Little Eliminator-Buddy Anderson, Da11as 110.15.
B/D—Bob Bunten, Fort Worth, 1O3.68
C/D—R, D. Dodson, Fort Worth, 112.35
A/F/D--Elbert Metton, Houston, 109.75.
X-D-Leon Wilson, Arlington, 77.72.
B/Gas-Jerry White, Houston, 100.67.
C/Gas—Pat Burke. Houston, 97.71..............."
Jacket from 130 mph club
unknown | Caddo Mills
Buddy holding up another jacket from the 130 mph club issued by the North Texas Timing Assn.
Buddy was a member of the Texas Army National Guard during most of the late fifties. Texas 49ers. 49th Armored Division.
He was called up in the sixties to serve in the Army for two years. The only address I have for him during this time is on an envelope from Grandmothers desk. (4 cent postage)
Sgt. Karl D. Anderson 25924489
HQ. Co. 1st. Med. Tk. Bn. 112Armr.
Fort Polk, Louisiana.
At this time the WWW was in parts. The engine was stored in his room at my grandmother's. and the rest in their garage.
NHRA Record Holder
6 Nov 1960 | Caddo Mills
Buddy set a record of 10.80 sec. 124.82 MPH.
Caddo Mills Times at the close of 1960
1960 | Caddo Mills, TX
See the above photos.
AHRA Championships Held by WWW
1957 to 1961
Buddy held 5 AHRA Championships. From 1957 to 1961 all in B/A.
1978 Hall of Fame
Buddy was inducted into the NHRA Hall of Fame along with many others. The copy of the plaque is above.
Buddy and Big Rig
1992+ | Carrollton, TX
Buddy began driving around 1992.
The "Old Ford"
1942 | Dallas, TX
When Buddy was about 6 years old, his uncle Arlis Anderson joined the Army Air Force during WWII. He had purchased a 1942 Ford, brand new , before he left. He never came home. His plane was shot down over the North Sea coming back from a raid over Germany. He bailed out but was never found.
I created a page several years ago for Arlis on this same website:
His car went to his brother Owen, and he drove it for years with Buddy keeping it going for him. On his death, the car went to Buddy. It sat out gathering rust for years. Buddy began restoration several years ago.
Widdle White Wabbit by Connell R. Miller
Fall 2011 | Carrollton, Texas
The following article appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Nitro Madness Magazine. Permission was requested and has been given by Scott Gaulter.
One of the participants at the very first NHRA national event in 1955 was West-Coaster Jim “Jazzy” Nelson with his flathead- powered Fiat altered coupe. That car made such an impression on another entrant, Dallas teenager Karl "Buddy” Anderson that, even though he returned in 1956 to take a win in the C/Altered class with a ‘32 Ford, the young Texan began an earnest search for a similar Topolino (Italian for “little mouse”) coupe like Nelson’s.
One eventually surfaced in nearby Duncanville, but with his college fees and $45-a-week earnings at a local grocery store, it was priced out of Anderson’s budget. Buddy continued to save and a few months later when he went back to make an offer on the car, much to his surprise - and joy - the owner told him he had sold the chassis and engine to another party, but would be happy to sell him the bare body shell for a fraction of the original price.
Believe it or not, the coupe you see was built in just over a week. It features a narrowed ‘30 Model-A frame and front suspension on a 96” wheelbase, steered by a ‘40 Ford box. A hefty roll bar sits over the center-mounted original Fiat seat. Buddy laughs when he mentions that it took him almost as long to drill the lightening holes in chromed axle as it did to build entire car. A puzzling sight for younger admirers of this piece are the vintage knee-action shocks. And if you guessed Halibrand or even Hildebrand mags for the front, you'd be wrong: they’re a pair very rare Palamides 12-spokers, now shod with Pirelli radials.
In the rear, slung under coil springs, is a Halibrand quick change, built in the original Culver City shop, which transmits power through cut-down Buick axles out to the 1960s American mags and 9.00x15 M&H Racemasters. Stopping power is provided by later model Ford binders.
Calvert Automotive in Denton, Texas built the original engine, a high-winding 265 cu. in. Chevrolet, with an Engle cam, J.E. pistons, Vertex magneto, and a six 2-bbl manifold.
Hooked to it was a ‘38 Ford tranny using second and high only. In the rodder’s eternal search for more power, however, it wasn’t long before a 327 found its way into the engine compartment, with a hotter Isky cam, Enderle fuel injection, and Venolia pistons. The tired Ford shifter also was replaced by a 4-speed B&M Hydro Stick .
Fostered by the North Texas Timing Association, the old all- concrete airport just down the road from Dallas at Caddo Mills launched drag racing in the early 1950s (many say it was the second such organized strip next to California’s Santa Ana) and became the southwest’s hot-bed of NHRA drag racing for many years. Soon after, new strips opened in San Antonio, Houston, Temple, and Amarillo. Those, along with the popular AHRA-sanctioned Green Valley Raceway near the Fort Worth end of the D-FW Metroplex, greatly expanded the opportunities to race in Texas.
The altered classes became very popular, and as a result, the wars between these stripped down coupes and sedans comprised some of the fiercest wheel-to- wheel dueling imaginable during the late 50s and early 60s. The three giants of the popular B/A class in Texas (and usual contenders for the Middle Eliminator trophy) were Bobby and Jimmy Carson’s Swamp Buggy olds-powered ‘32 sedan, Don Breithaupt’s DCB deuce 5-window (sadly neither car has survived over the years), and Buddy Anderson’s Fiat, christened the Widdle White Wabbit. The WWW’s winning percentage against all comers also guaranteed this gold-plated pedigree for the little coupe: the over 60 trophies lining Anderson’s garage wall in Carrollton include a win at the 1957 Texas State Championships, 4 wins at the AHRA Nationals and a certificate from the NHRA proclaiming his new national ET record of 10.89 seconds in 1962 (before retiring the car a few years later, he had pocketed a time slip of 10.67 seconds at 133 m.p.h.). Even with the modest amount of payouts for winning in those days, his racing income soon began to exceed his weekly paycheck from Safeway!
The early sixties was a busy time for Buddy. The recognition he drew with his drag racing
savvy got him elected as Treasurer with the American Hot Rod Association. In addition, along with his racing schedule and day job, he was in the Army Reserves at a time when the Cold War was heating up with Soviet missiles being shipped to Cuba. By the mid-60s the race car was parked in the garage and Anderson spent the next 24 years working for noted fuel racers Foster Yancey and Brad Camp in their Dallas-based construction business (one of their developments was the famed Reeder Road warehouse complex, which housed many race rigs, chassis shops, and the like).
After the building boom slowed in Texas, Buddy took to the road in 1992, driving a big rig.
In the last few years, however, he was mostly working local runs around the metroplex, giving him more time to enjoy tinkering with a few old cars he’d accumulated, particularly the restoration of the Ford sedan his uncle had bought new in 1942.. ..that is, until Ed Miller and the newly-formed Texas Timing Association (www.Texas timing. com) came calling.
Putting together a circuit of the old cars to race or cackle at events around Texas, Miller was booking such noted quarter-milers as the reconstructed Scorpion I (Bobby Langley’s original was beaten by Don Garlits for the Top Eliminator trophy at the ‘58 Texas State Championships), the rebuilt Garlits- chassied Scorpion V, Loyd Harlan’s 666 roadster, the Gizzle Hopper and a few others. But what he wanted more than anything was that famed B/Altered coupe that he had seen taking so many wins back in the 5Os and 60s. Miller said a phone call to Anderson was all it took: Goodbye La-Z-Boy, hello dragstrip!
What makes this story so meaningful is with the ramped-up interest in vintage, or “heritage” racing, many cars have been pulled out of the rafters and rebuilt or painstakingly recreated. How many do you know of that needed little more than an oil change on the engine and transmission, the valves adjusted and a new set of front tires to once again hit the strip?
Whether they’re showing, cackling or racing, Buddy and his Widdle White Wabbit are having a good time. The all-steel body’s doors still shut with a solid thunk and except for some peeling of the mid-60s-applied pearl paint it could be mistaken for a recent build. The 327 has now been replaced by a fairly mild 350, featuring a 272 Comp camshaft and stock heads. The injectors and mag are gone in favor of a Weiand manifold with a 750 Edelbrock carb and a H.E.I. ignition. The headers, fabricated by Buddy, remain the ‘5Os originals. A radiator and three small fans mounted horizontally under the main rails at front keep the Wabbit cool for cacklefests and trips from the pits to the line.
Hitching the Fiat’s trailer behind his one-owner and immaculately restored 1978 Thunderbird, the last few years have seen Buddy race at events such as the H.A.M.B. Nationals at Missouri’s Mo-Kan Dragway, the Kontinental’s popular annual “Day of the Drags” at the Little River Raceway near Austin, the “Texas Thaw” and 2009 Texas State Championship - both held at Denton’s North Star Dragway - and the 2010 Texas State Championship at San Antonio Raceway.
When Buddy pulled to the line at the State Championships, it brought looks of amazement
to the crowd when it was announced that the Widdle White Wabbit was the very same car
and driver - that had been victorious at that same Texas State Championship race fifty-three
All day, racers and spectators came to his pit to admire and take photographs of the altered coupe and meet Anderson. Many of the older ones remembered when and where they had
seen the Widdle White Wabbit in action, but the slender, always smiling septuagenarian, his gray hair pulled back into a ponytail, chuckled when he recounted how one young man in his early twenties, came up to him at the H.A.M.B. race at Mo-Kan and told him how his dad insisted that he come over to see the legendary Fiat and its owner. After spending several minutes asking questions about the car and his racing career, the youngster shook Anderson’s hand and thanked him for coming “and bringing such an historic car to the event.”
Buddy’s grin widened as he told this story, and then added: “You know, I’ve been doing this
for a long time. I won my first trophy at Caddo Mills in 1953 racing a ‘46 Ford. We tow a
long way to some of these races, but when a young person who wasn’t even around back when we ran these things says something like that, it makes it all worthwhile!”
An email sent his racing friends on his death.
November 1, 2011
On Tue, 11/1/11, ED MILLER
From: ED MILLER
Subject: Buddy Anderson passes away
Date: Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 9:15 AM
Texas racing legend and six-time national champion Buddy Anderson passed away yesterday evening in a Dallas Hospital where he was being treated for cancer and pneumonia. He was 75 years old.
Buddy had been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent 2011 Texas State Championships. In his absence, it was received on his behalf by his friend and fellow racer Loyd Harlan. Loyd, my wife Dianne, and I went to see Buddy last weekend and make the presentation of the trophy to him.
We will miss him greatly. He had been a favorite of Texas racing fans for more than half a century, and had recently influenced a whole new generation of traditional drag racers and hot rodders who met Buddy and saw him and his car at races, car shows, and Cacklefests. His iconic Widdle White Wabbit '48 Fiat coupe will be the first car placed in the new Texas Drag Racing Hall of Fame, located at the Texas Museum of Automotive History in Fair Park in Buddy's hometown of Dallas, TX.
Vaya con Dios, Buddy.
From: ED MILLER
Sent: Nov 2, 2011 10:22 AM
To: Buddy Anderson
Subject: Fw: Buddy Anderson passes away
Joyce and Jennie,
Here's an obit sent out yesterday to all Buddy's drag racing friends I know and have addresses for. It was an honor to know him well enough to be able to write this.